Monday, September 22, 2003

Philanthropy: Jesse Walker, who's forgotten more about radio than most of us know, noticed this story about a commercial-free radio station in Southern Arizona, playing the kind of classic rock and roll that has been programmed off commercial radio. Says the reclusive man behind the music:
I'm doing what I want to do. I don't have anybody yelling in my ear, telling me what to play, or what not to play. People are free to listen to it if they want to, but I'm not concerned if they don't. I want the station on the air because I love all this music and nobody's playing it on the radio. It's really that simple.
I don't want to go off like I know the radio, but I did grow up within the radio reach of Dave Herman, who was never allergic to going deep on an album; of Scott Muni, who was cut off at the knees by corporate radio and ended up struggling to get an hour a day on a name station; of Vin Scelza, the only fellow I ever heard play a song twice in a row, just because he liked it (imagine doing that on a Clear Channel station and not meeting you pink slip immediately). It's an old bitch now to say that radio all sounds the same; but I can, with some accuracy, predict exactly what will be playing on my ride home from work. Even the independent station in town (the blues/worldbeat/alt-rock station that every college town has) will play the crap outta some goofy Moroccan disco tune that somebody heard during a break on NPR and has now become the must-have name among the college set, but won't dig a whole lot deeper into the vinyl than something like "Instant Karma." (Plus, it's all so damned left-wing.)

Screw it. I'll just drag another 500 pounds of used LPs home from Championship Vinyl again, to play on my turntable that mysteriously switches from 33 rpm to 45 rpm mid-song.

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